Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 49th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.
* * * * *
This month’s topic comes from a few sources and focuses on that most important of measurements of an EVE Online Pilot: how much money do you have?
What is “rich” in EVE? Is it simply having more ISK than most everyone else, is it measured in raw numbers of some other ethereal quality? Can you actually be poor? Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back? If you are rich, how do you know and how did you get rich?
I think Jester really nailed it when he writes about Rich begin a perspective thing, but at the same time, (he would approve of double think I am sure) I also believe that you can laydown Class boundaries in eve, just as you can (if you are so inclined) in real life. As I mentioned in my last update post, by the class boundary set which I like the most, I am somewhere around the upper ranks of space middle class. The personal perspective of your wealth is just as applicable as the grand-scheme-of-things scale. I can be middle class in the grand scheme of things, Rich from my personal perspective, and poor from the view of my Alliance all at once. Aren’t I clever? But the most important scale of wealth is your own perspective so let me explain what “Rich” is to me.
Apart from anything else, rich, is unfortunately an equilibrium I can’t seem to break out off. The more ISK I have the less I want to put effort into making money, and the more likely I am to buy flashy ships (see my monthly updates for details). The less money I have, the more inclined I am to play my trader I am, and the less likely I am to spend lots of ISK. As a result I bounce around the same money range like a rubber ball in the ISS.
But is that so bad? I don’t need to be (grand-scheme) space rich to feel like I have achieved something in eve, I don’t need 1 trillion Isk to win the game. My rule of thumb is that I would like to have enough money to re-purchase all the important ships that I own, and still have enough left over to restart my trader. That breaks down something like this:
1 Carrier (3bn)
1 Black Ops BS (1.6bn)
1 T3 (1bn)
1 Napoc (0.7bn)
1 Hic (0.3bn)
1 Freighter (1.1bn)
Assorted T1&T2 Ships (1bn)
Trader starting Cash (5bn)
Add a bit of a safety margin to this and you have the region at which my wallet tends to hover. I will often make a concerted effort to break above this level (right now for example I have a 50bn target set, but in all honestly I doubt I will ever reach it). The issue is that making “enough to get by” is about as much effort as I am willing to expend on the ISK making side of things, pushing higher is almost always a short term phase soon corrected by lethargy or a big purchase. But that’s fine with me, I’ve still got enough to cover my spending and cope with dire emergencies.
Over the years in eve I have made my cash through a lot of different avenues. Mission running being my starting profession. From there I went to null and tried some Complexes. About the same time I met a very successful station trader who helped me start my trader, who has since been the backbone of my funding. That’s not to say it’s been my only source of cash, the trick in eve is to diversify. In my career I have tried wormholes, Incursions, exploration, Faction Warfare, hauling, manufacturing (that’s recent), services (selling bookmarks) and even made a little money out of administrative roles. Through all of this, I would consider myself rich, certainly in the last few years of playing, I have never been limited in what PvP ships I buy because of a lack of cash.
But what about the flip side? Space Poor. In relative terms; I would class “poor” as the point when you are limited in what you can do (that you want to do) by your wealth. For example, if I were suddenly to develop a need/want to get into a Titan, I would be poor (my means do not cover my goals). Furthermore if a newbro was aiming to upgrade to a cruiser with 50m in their wallet, they are doing fine, if however they are aiming to get a Battleship, their poor.
In my early days I clawed my way out of “poor” several times, both through silly mistakes (it’s good to learn the golden rule when your still in frigates), and because my aims shifted faster than my wallet did. I was lucky in that I had a close group of friends to help me out when I made mistakes (the very same Dirties you know and love today), so the depths of despair always had a light at the end of the tunnel. But all the same I can remember the days when I lost a stream of frigates to hard missions, and had to go back to my Ibis to claw back enough cash to start again.
I can also vividly remember coming back to the game in a war deck and losing my (accidentally) poorly-pvp fitted rokh (p.s. to understand the true fail of that fitting, you have to know that I thought it was a PvE fitting) to Guiding Hand Social Club. As at the time I was attempting to break into Nullsec, and was only intending to fly frigates (Indeed I think I was on the way to Jita to sell the Rokh to fund a stack of Kestrels) the loss, despite being about 70% of my net worth didn’t make me poor.
So to summarise, there are three scales of wealth; Your opinion of yours, Others opinion of yours, and the scale of the grand scheme of things (which is still based on opinion). But I feel that Isk is too often used as a scoreboard to players, null, low and high pilots alike. Honestly the only score board in eve is how much fun you have. If a player gets enjoyment out of bombing around Lowsec in frigates with only 100m in their wallet, who am I to declare them poor? Equally some of the Super capital owners in the Alliance would likely declare me poor, but from my point of view, I don’t need more than I have to continue, I might want more but I don’t need it. The most important scale of wealth should always be your own, do you have enough money to have fun? If so, don’t sweat it.
Fly Rokhs more,